Samsung Display says unbreakable, flexible screen passes U.S. safety test

SINGAPORE (Reuters) - Samsung Display, a subsidiary of Samsung Electronics Co Ltd, on Friday said its recently developed unbreakable, bendable screen has passed safety testing in the United States, a step that will help the South Korean firm market the product.

FILE PHOTO: The logo of Samsung is seen on a building during the Mobile World Congress in Barcelona, Spain February 25, 2018. REUTERS/Yves Herman/File Photo

Samsung Display, an Apple Inc supplier, said the screen can be used in devices such as smartphones, tablet computers, portable gaming machines and consoles in automobiles.

The firm and rivals such as compatriot LG Display Co Ltd have long been developing flexible screens as they compete to make more innovative devices.

Samsung Display’s new screen is protected by plastic rather than glass, increasing flexibility and making it practically unbreakable, the firm said on its website.

Importantly, the screen has improved transparency, almost akin to glass, allowing it to be installed on devices used close-up, such as smartphones, a Samsung Display official said.

The screen has been certified by Underwriters Laboratories Inc, a testing firm for the U.S. Occupational Safety and Health Administration, after tests which involved being dropped 26 times from a height of 1.2 meters, Samsung Display said.

After testing, the screen continued to function normally, with no damage to its front, sides or edges, the firm said.

U.S. certification bestows such credibility that marketing can begin worldwide, not just in the United States, the Samsung Display official said.

Samsung Electronics has been widely expected to introduce a device with foldable screen since its mobile chief in September said such device was being developed and needed to overcome technological hurdles before possible release in 2018.

Such a device is likely to help ease concerns that Samsung Electronics, the world’s largest smartphone manufacturer, is running out of ideas to support sales of its premium Galaxy handsets as its smartphone sales growth slows.

Shares in Samsung Electronics closed unchanged on Friday, versus a 0.3 percent rise in the broader market.

Reporting by Ju-min Park and Miyoung KimEditing by Christopher Cushing